Welcome to Celtic Civilisation at NUI Galway

What is Celtic Civilisation?

Celtic Civilisation is the study of the legacy of the Celts in the world, from the earliest times, the sixth century BC, when we first encounter the Celts in history, through their encounters with the ancient Greeks and Romans. ‌

As part of this study, we examine the formation of the peoples and the nations of Ireland, Northern and Western Britain and France in the early Middle Ages, and also look at aspects of the Celts in early-modern and modern western Europe. Celtic Civilisation examines the history, archaeology, languages, literatures, mythologies and cultures of the Celts through the centuries.

Why study Celtic Civilisation?

This subject provides a comprehensive insight into the reality behind popular conceptions and misconceptions of the Celts in the ancient, medieval and modern incarnations. Through the study of this subject, you will be encouraged to view Celtic literature and culture in a new light, and to appreciate the legacy of the Celts, as evidenced in the literatures, languages, beliefs, customs and archaeology of Europe.

Studying Celtic Civilisation will develop your research, analytical and communication skills, and enhance your ability to present material clearly and effectively.

We offer Celtic Civilisation at undergraduate level as part of a BA (Joint Honours) degree. Visit NUI Galway's Courses Page for information on how to apply, entry requirements and assessment.

Module descriptors, lecture timetables, etc. for the current academic year are available under:

What do our students say?

Kelsey Holmes, BA (Archaeology & Celtic Civilisation)

"Studying Celtic Civilisation gives you the freedom to explore the languages, mythologies, and histories of the Celts, from battling with the Welsh warriors in The Gododdin, travelling through medieval Ireland with the Fianna and St. Patrick, and struggling alongside the medieval women of Ireland.

Other modules focus on historical aspects of the Celtic worlds, questioning the origin of the Celts, and how they are perceived today. The origins of the Celtic languages and other ancient languages, still spoken today, can also be explored.

Unique to this course is the chance to focus on the role and treatment of women within medieval Ireland, which is a ground-breaking and relevant topic for today’s society.

Personally, having a focus on medieval archaeology, the opportunity to study the medieval literature of Ireland gave my studies in Archaeology a deeper and more vibrant perspective. My experience studying Celtic Civ is one which has stayed with me through my postgraduate studies. I could not recommend it more".